Following significant growth in 2021, Crypto.com has estimated that the number of global crypto owners will reach 1 billion by the end of this year.
The crypto exchange said that the total number of owners worldwide had grown by 178 per cent in 2021 with an increase from 106 million in January to 295 million in December.
Reflecting on the previous year, Crypto.com said adoption in the first half had been “remarkable”, with major developments including Tesla and Mastercard embracing crypto and El Salvador introducing legislation to adopt bitcoin as legal tender.
Meanwhile, significant drivers of growth in the second half of the year included additional crypto discussion in the community, increased institutional adoption and the launch of the first bitcoin ETF in the US.
“Unlike the trend of the first half 2021, bitcoin drove the growth and outperformed ethereum adoption in the latter half. Bitcoin also gained market share during Q3-Q4 from altcoins,” Crypto.com noted.
During the second half, Crypto.com said that bitcoin users grew by 37.5 per cent to 176 million, compared with ethereum, which saw growth of only 1.4 per cent to 23 million.
“The weakness of ethereum adoption may result from the emergence of ethereum competitors like terra and avalanche together with the Layer 2 solutions that bridged assets away from ethereum to other chains,” the firm said.
August was highlighted as a particularly strong month for crypto user growth with a 15.2 per cent rise to 263 million.
In terms of crypto market share, bitcoin held 60 per cent as of December compared with 8 per cent for ethereum and 32 per cent for other cryptocurrencies.
Crypto.com said that it expects a friendlier stance may be taken towards the crypto industry in the future with developed nations expected to devise clear legal and taxation frameworks for crypto assets and more countries set to potentially adopt crypto as legal tender.
“Nations can no longer afford to ignore the growing push towards crypto by the public,” the firm said.